Left turns are one of the most dangerous maneuvers a driver can make. They are often overwhelming and confusing, especially when traffic is heavy. Unfortunately, a left-hand turn accident often results in a t-bone crash, resulting in serious injuries and even death.
If you’ve been in an accident involving a left turn, contact a Washington, DC auto accident lawyer with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free consultation. We are here to guide you through filing your claim, and we will work to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.
The Dangers of a Left-Turn Accident
One of the dangers of left-turn accidents is that they often involve high speeds. This is because the driver turning left usually has to cross traffic coming from the opposite direction. If both drivers are going too fast, the accident can be particularly devastating.
Common Causes of Left Turn Accidents
A study from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 36 percent of all auto accidents occur at intersections. Of those accidents, many involved a left-hand turning driver. Left turns are one of the most dangerous maneuvers a driver can make. They are also one of the leading causes of accidents and injuries on our roads.
There are several factors that contribute to the dangers of left turns:
- The speed of oncoming traffic: When a driver makes a left turn, they have to cross the path of oncoming traffic. This can be particularly dangerous if the oncoming traffic is moving quickly.
- The angle of the turn: The sharper the turn, the more difficult it is to see oncoming cars and judge their speed. This can lead to accidents even when traffic is not moving particularly fast.
- The width of the street: The wider the street, the further a driver has to travel to complete left-hand turns. This gives oncoming traffic more time to enter the intersection, increasing the chances of an accident.
- The number of lanes: The more lanes there are on the road, the greater the chance that a driver will misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic and attempt to turn into a stream of fast-moving traffic.
In addition, left turns often require drivers to change lanes to make the turn. This can be confusing and lead to accidents if drivers are not paying attention.
Who is Liable in a Left Turn Accident?
If you have been involved in a left-turn accident, you may wonder who is liable for the damages. The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of the accident.
In most cases, a left-turning driver who does not have the right of way must wait for oncoming traffic to pass before turning. Because of this, the law usually presumes the driver making the left turn acted with negligence and likely caused the collision. However, left-turning drivers are not always at fault.
When the Other Driver is At-Fault
Some examples of negligence by the other driver may include:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting while driving
- Failing to yield to oncoming traffic
- Running a red light
- Making an illegal turn
Multiple Liable Parties
In some cases, there may be more than one liable party involved in your left-turn collision claim. For example, in a multi-vehicle pileup, there may be multiple parties at fault for the cause of the traffic accident. In cases where the collision occurred due to a defective part, the liable party may be the manufacturer or distributor of the car.
Both drivers may be considered at fault for the accident in some cases. For example, if a car making an illegal turn hits a vehicle that was speeding and ran a red light, then both drivers would be considered at fault.
If you have been involved in a left turn accident, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you determine who is liable for the damages.
How to Make a Safe and Legal Left Hand Turn
There are several things that you can do to avoid making a left turn mistake.
- Wait for a gap in traffic – Before turning, wait for a gap in oncoming traffic that is big enough for your car to fit through.
- Make sure you have a clear view – Before turning, make sure that you have a clear view of oncoming traffic. If you cannot see, then wait for traffic to clear before proceeding.
- Drive defensively – Always be aware of other drivers around you and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
- Always use your turn signal when you are about to make a turn. This will let other drivers know what you are doing and give them time to react.
- Slow down as you approach the intersection. This will give you more time to look for oncoming traffic and ensure that it is safe to turn.
- Yield to oncoming traffic when making a left turn. This will help to avoid an accident.
- Obey traffic law and the speed limit.
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can impair your ability to drive and increase the chances of an accident occurring.
What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Do For You
The Washington, DC car accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to car accidents, gathering the evidence to establish negligence and other types of liability.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has obtained more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Contact a Washington DC Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, DC Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.